Yiannis Mouzalas urges Martin Schulz to boost the EP’s role in the refugee issue

Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas urged European Parliament President Martin Schulz to boost the body’s role in the refugee issue, during a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

According to a ministry press release, Mouzalas described the situation in Greece by asking Schulz’s support on the following issues:

-Ensuring the EU-Turkey deal is implemented by all sides as “it’s the only way for a legal and safe transport of refugees to Europe.”

-The relocation of refugees from Greece to other member-states, especially concerning unaccompanied minors, as the procedure essentially has stopped. By the end of 2016, 33,000 people must have relocated, but so far only 5,000 have done so.

-The resettlement of refugees for humanitarian reasons from Turkey to Europe so as to send the message of a legal transport to Europe.

-The creation of a European return mechanism – instead of the system implemented today, whereby each member-state returns people separately. This will facilitate the return of migrants to their country of origin.

-The amendment of the Dublin regulation concerning the asylum petition process in a way that doesn’t burden solely the countries of first entrance.

On his part, Schulz expressed his solidarity with Greece, noting that many member-states have essentially abandoned Greece, noting that authorities must speed up relocation. At the same time, he criticized Greece for delaying returns to Turkey.